Review of the Week #1

Title: Black Beauty
Author: Anna Sewell
Originally Published: 1877 by Jarrold & Sons


So, first weekly review!   Continue reading


The Trouble with Time Travel

Time travel: so interesting, so popular, so often poorly done. It’s possibly the most annoying thing to work with (not the same as inter-dimensional travel, that’ll be another post altogether). It tends to be a greedy thing, trying to demand the spotlight. Writers can (and usually do) fall into a massive trap: how much do you explain? And if you don’t do it right, then you have the ire of your readers, who will complain about possible loopholes, situations you didn’t cover, or things just didn’t make sense at all.
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New year, new goals.

So, it’s a new year, or slightly into a new year. And, probably like every aspiring author, I want this to be the year I get published and make it big. Of course, that’s a pretty big goal. More like an endgame, really: the fame and fortune of being the next J. K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, or Shakespeare. Personally I’m aiming for Shakespeare, as he was writing centuries ago and people are still reading and performing his works. I might as well dream big. Realistically though, my goals are more along the lines of ‘make it big enough to afford textbooks for a semester’. Although that in itself is a pretty big goal. I mean, just look at the cost of textbooks, it’s insane!
Anyway, to get back to the topic at hand…
I just really have to get on that whole editing thing, and stay on it. Maybe if I broke it into chunks, like a chapter every 3-5 days might work. Some might say even that’s a bit lazy, but I am a working student, and there are only so many hours in a day.
That gives me an idea for another post…
Anyway, I noticed I have over 300 hits from 5 or 6 countries, which is really cool. Thanks everyone who has wandered over to my little shadowy corner of the vast internet to have a look at my rambling, and I promise I’ll write more. Probably on anti-procrastination techniques for editing. Soon. Eventually. Someday… I’ll get around to it…

I am writer, read me roar!

So, I’m participating in this writing contest: ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer. I have to write about why I became a writer, when did I know that this is what I was meant to do? Funny thing, I actually get asked that quite a lot. Most people aren’t really satisfied with the answer they get though. I think they expect some huge, dramatic epiphany that completely rocked my world and changed the course of destiny forever!!!! Continue reading

My Writing Bucket List

It’s good to have goals. This list may get longer as I come up with new things, and hopefully I’ll be able to cross off a few items soon!

1. Get accepted by a conventional publisher.
2. Have moderate success in self-publishing.
3. Have one of my books banned. (Let’s face it, all the good books are banned somewhere)
4. Have a bunch of film people want to make one of my books into a movie (not sure whether or not I’ll actually go for that)
5. Write a script for a movie.
6. Have said script made into a movie.
7. Win 5 awards.
8. Get a fan letter from someone I don’t know.
9. Have a book translated into at least 3 other languages.
10. Get published in 3 different genres (or sub-genres).
11. Become the Shakespeare of YA fantasy.
12. Get published in an anthology with other famous writers.
13. Attend a writing workshop.
14. Attend a writing camp.
15. Get asked to host a writing workshop. (And then do it)
16. Get some sort of international recognition. (NOT for a movie made from a book, that’s too easy)
17. Get a fan letter from someone I don’t know who lives in another country.

The Writer’s Choice

So, in every writer’s life comes a moment when they have to make a choice, and this choice will have a profound effect on their career. It’s not necessarily the easiest choice to make, because there are many pros and cons on both sides, and it’s best to make an informed decision, which does mean researching these two options. Of course, it is possible to try both and see what works best, but one must remember that things can go horribly awry.
Sick of my theatrics? Okay, okay, I’ll cave.
I’m talking about the choice between using a conventional publisher or self-publishing, which are both good options, but often people prefer one over the other. Conventional publishing is where you send it to a publisher like HarperCollins and they either accept or reject you. Self-Publishing is where you find a company that prints books and put in an order. Some offer packages. That one you have to pay for yourself.
There are ups and downs to both. Conventional you don’t have to pay anything (unless it’s a scam), but you have to bow down to the Powers That Be and possibly change stuff that you really don’t want to change. With self-publishing you run the show, but you have to pay for it all and hope you sell enough copies to make a profit. You also have to do all of your own marketing and promotion, and for someone starting out, this can be quite difficult. However, if you manage to find the right printing company, you can do it really cheap and get your friends and family to buy them for a start. And possibly shamelessly self-promote on a blog and hope that you’re reaching a wider audience than you think you are. You also won’t likely be able to get your books into major bookstores.
With conventional publishing, you have people who do all the work for you. They take a cut of the profit, but they do the marketing and get your books onto shelves and arrange book tours, pay for storage and actual printing. However, they tend to be very selective of who they accept, you have to meet certain criteria just to send your manuscript in, which as I know from experience, is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. Moreover, especially for major publishers, you need to have an agent who represents you and acts as an intermediary. They also keep you from getting screwed, especially if you don’t know a lot. However, you also have to follow their submission guidelines and search around for the right one and you may be rejected, especially if you’re just starting out.
So really, there’s a lot to consider. I will be reporting back to this later one, when I actually gain experience and can give more details. Anyone who does have experience, please feel free to post in the comments!

That Annoying Place…

You know that place in your writing where you know where you are (obviously) and where you eventually want to end up but aren’t overly sure how to get where you want?  Which then basically causes writer’s block and you tear your hair out as you try to figure out how to get from point A to point B and can’t come up with anything worth writing.  Well, that’s where I am right now.  In not just one, but two stories!  Well, technically one is already written, but I am doing a massacre edit (which for the purpose of this blog basically means that I’m mercilessly editing and rewriting the entire story to make it a lot better) which is causing some problems as I realise that some of my original ideas suck (I started it a couple years ago) which while it is technically a good thing, since it means I’m getting better, it’s also very annoying.

Now, normally the solution would be to try out several scenarios which would get me from point A to the point B I want.  However, sometimes what this really means is that I’m not actually going in the right direction and this is not really what my characters would do so I have to give up on it and just let the story flow from point A to wherever it must go.  Normally it ends up being a lot better this way.  Except that sometimes the point B I have to give up is really, really cool and would be so much fun to write.

I now understand why a lot of authors have deleted scenes that they put at the end of novels or on their websites.  Sometimes the scenes just don’t work out, but are so worth writing anyway.

Oh, and by the way, welcome to my blog.  Hope you have enjoyed my first post and will find my future posts just as entertaining!